Feeding a child is never easy, especially if you want them to be healthy. Sometimes, it is a struggle to get them to eat or drink anything that isn’t full of sugar or fat. Even fruit juice has a bad reputation, as it often contains added sugar and its acidity is thought to rot teeth. However, it seems this is not the case.
Researchers from the US have looked at data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) that was conducted between 1999 and 2004. They looked at data from 2,290 children aged between two and five, taking economic, social and other factors into account.
Specifically, the researchers were looking for the effect that drinking between 118-177ml of 100 per cent fruit juice a day would have on the oral health of young children. They found that there was no link between drinking 100 per cent fruit juice and tooth decay, which is encouraging for parents looking for a drink for their children.
Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said: “The research clearly highlights 100 per cent fruit juices are a safe option. Parents should look for those with no added sugar. These differ from juice drinks, which have the potential to be more harmful.”
The juice drinks Dr Carter mentioned usually contain a lot of added sugar. It can sometimes be easy to mistake these for 100 per cent fruit juice, but they are a lot less healthy and the sugar they contain can cause tooth decay in everyone from adults to young children.
“Parents often provide their child with juice drinks thinking they are doing them good but, in reality, they are often packed with sugar,” said Dr Carter. “It is not a stretch of the imagination to suggest juice drinks are one of the reasons why three year-olds and five year-olds have signs of visible decay.”
If you want to make sure your child’s teeth are as healthy as possible, make sure you are giving them 100 per cent fruit juice, milk or water to drink. Other sugary beverages can do harm to their oral health.